No Man’s Blog has a great post about the top Facebook applications.
All the Facebook applications have been divided into three main categories-
Identity formation – 43%
Phatic Communication – 37%
Other – 20%
Identity Formation Applications are applications that relate to one’s self: personality quizzes, movies I like, horoscope applications, favorite quotes, etc. This is good proof that people use social networks mainly to reinforce and extend their identity. Social networking isn’t about friends first. It is first and foremost about defining and solidifying who we are. Then, it is about building our network. The keyword is OUR.
Here is a visual that may help define how Social Networking really works:
What does this mean for us when trying to market through social networks?
1) Focus on the People- People still don’t care about what you have to offer. They care about what they can GAIN from that offering. How can you HELP THEM? That is the constant question to be asking yourself when marketing online. And you know why? Because, that is the same question your target market keeps asking themselves. What’s in it for me?
2) Appeal to their Sense of Identity- Instead of placing an ad in a small box on the page, get people involved! Create a quiz they can take. This is why Cosmo and Marie Claire magazines continue to use quizzes in their magazine. Not only that-they advertise the mini-quiz on their front cover. They realize that people don’t buy the magazine because they want to flip through ads. They buy it because it enforces their sense of identity. The magazine is an extension of their identity. How can you frame your business as an extension of your target market’s identity? The biggest brands out there know how to do this. People will vehemently argue which brand tastes better-Coca Cola or Pepsi. It defines them in a way. After The Launch clients often come to us because we know how to create the connection between people’s identities and a certain brand using marketing.
3) Focus on Creating a Community- The first step in social networking is establishing an identity. The final step is being part of a community. If you use social media sites to spam network, it will backfire. People don’t like being associated with anything they didn’t CHOOSE to be associated with. Instead, use social media sites to share information, listen, comment, and build relationships. If you focus on creating a community, you will not only establish your brand, but you will also create a network that WANTS to hear your message. This is the best outcome any marketer can ever dream of.